What Netflix Needs to Learn From Amazon

Like many others, I took a shameful pleasure in watching Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX  ) CEO Reed Hastings' sad-yet-hilarious bungling of yet another major service change. Not satisfied with its recent, customer-alienating moves of jacking up prices 30% to 60% on long-time members -- and reaping a big drop in membership along with a huge fall in stock price -- Netflix had, Hastings said, finally decided to make amends.

The peace offering? A long-winded explanation that the price increase was actually part of an even bigger company initiative, one that will split the subscriber experience in two. Hastings explained that the disc business will abandon a decade's worth of branding to rename itself the horrible "Qwikster," while the smaller streaming catalog will keep the Netflix brand. Best of all, and worst of all, the service site would be split in two! No more automatic or simplified moving content from one side to the other! Now, members could not only pay more, but do more work, run content searches multiple times, and juggle extra URLs to organize and expand their daily dose of online-enabled entertainment. And the split will be good for the business, which has different needs and a different cost structure! How awesome is that? Guys? Awesome!?

Hastings is finding out.

Pride increaseth after a fall
Hastings wrote that he believed past success had helped him slide Netflix into arrogance, yet his apology seemed to me to be a lot more arrogant than the price increase. A price increase is, at least, impersonal. Not so, the splitting of the business and the way the announcement was handled.

Subscribers -- especially those getting DVDs -- identify with the Netflix brand. To them, Netflix has for years been a trusted companion in entertainment, helping them enjoy themselves in ways beyond the narrow parade of box-office-topping drivel that they could get on demand from much reviled cable companies like Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA  ) , Cox, and Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) . For loyal members, waking up to see the disc business tossed aside and given a moniker reminiscent of a toilet bowl cleaner is like waking up to find out their favorite, fun, hip friend has taken a middle management job at Staples and doesn't want to hang out anymore because his new friends -- the streamers, the ones who don't mind a small catalog filled with sub-par entertainment choices -- are much cooler, and they're the wave of the future anyway. (But don't worry, you can hang with my cousin Kletus, here. He's hip, I swear, and he wears the same clothes as I do.)

Netflix seemed to understand the intimate nature of this relationship, but not enough to do things right. While I've never been a huge Netflix promoter, even I was stunned by the clumsy way Netflix tried to deliver the breakup note.

The announcement was delivered to subscribers like me as if it were an email from Hastings himself. It was written in a very personal tone, beginning with what seems like a direct apology, "Dear Seth, I messed up. I owe you an explanation." The return address in the email didn't read "Netflix," but was ginned-up to look as if it came from Hastings' own email account. Yet, if you hit "reply" as I did, and typed a note back, you were treated to a bounceback, no-reply email, revealing that this wasn't a personal apology from Hastings (granted, with a large CC list). Instead, it was corporate damage control masquerading as personal communication, and it was designed to be the end of the discussion -- at least so far as your inbox was concerned.

At least we mere plebs were invited to take our concerns to a Netflix blog page, the proper venue for such rabble, I suppose. There, incredibly, Hastings continued to alienate members by only responding to the minority of posters who praised Netflix, ignoring the majority of the comments (now more than 22,000), most of which told him that he screwed up big time.

Wall Street vs. Main Street
And therein we find a strange divergence. While members seem overwhelmingly negative on this decision, a plurality of opinion (that I have read) from stock and business wonks is that this is somehow a good decision. Why the difference? Because investors and Netflix subscribers have different needs, and Netflix is catering to Wall Street now.

Sure, subscribers hate the idea of splitting the business in two like this: They no longer get a unified browsing experience between discs and streaming. They don't know if the ratings they spent so much time entering over the years will propagate to the new sites.

A lot of investing and business wonks, on the other hand, see another bit of sheer genius! Split the businesses apart! Let independent management on either side run things as they see fit! Empowered teams dedicated to bettering their specific portion of the business will innovate, blah blah blah, shareholder value, individual strengths, boo boo boo, still harvesting synergies ... I've read all that. I get the logic. But I don't buy it. And I don't think it's a slam-dunk way to increase shareholder value in the short or long term.

The best structural and managerial maneuvers in the world don't matter when you alienate and anger your members so much that tens of thousands of them take the time to get online to tell you how bad you've screwed up. Many of them are discontinuing the service, and the breakup isn't that bad because there are a lot of options out there: Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) instant video, Hulu, Crackle, Wal-Mart's (NYSE: WMT  ) Vudu, Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) underrated Zune offerings on Xbox 360, and, of course, Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) iTunes.

What would Amazon do?
When I try to imagine the biggest beneficiary of Netflix's self-inflicted wounds, the name that comes to mind is Amazon. I can't help but think that Jeff Bezos and the rest of his team are smiling broadly as Netflix drives its hard-won user base into Amazon's alternatives. I try to imagine Amazon making a massive business and PR blunder like this, and I can't see it happening.

That's because Amazon, quite clearly, seems to understand how to win in the competitive beast that is the online world. In the end, it's a little bit about price and a little bit about the Web experience, but more and more, it's about the simplicity, stupid.

Why do people like me buy everything from books to TVs to large barbecues to toilet flapper valves (seriously) from Amazon? Because it's the simplest way to get what I need. Amazon makes the shopping choice a no-brainer by taking shipping out of the equation with its Prime service. Amazon hijacked the e-reader category not with better hardware, but by making book-buying simpler with free wireless downloading.

Right now, Amazon's streaming video offerings aren't all that easy. I had to install some goofy Yahoo! Widget on my Internet-ready TV to watch Amazon video, and there's no queue and little other organization. On the other hand, a catalog of a few thousand titles comes free with my Prime membership. There's more than enough kid stuff to keep my toddler occupied during her brief periods of TV time, so it's increasingly likely that this Netflix customer will stop subscribing to what remains of my former membership. I don't count myself among typical customers, as I have less and less time for TV these days. But if too many others come to the same conclusion as I have, watch out Netflix.

Foolish final thought
It's not all downhill from here.

Netflix is still the simplest solution in video. The site is slick and intuitive, its streaming catalog's among the biggest, and familiarity breeds fondness, even in the wake of this week's klutzy Netflix announcement. Netflix streaming apps are in more places and on more devices, and that's a big advantage. But moving the member experience away from simplicity -- even just a little -- is the wrong thing for retention, and that, I believe, is ultimately the wrong thing for the business.

The best website in the business cannot support Netflix the company forever, because as we collectively watch Netflix streaming on alternate devices, the Netflix apps begin to vary wildly in quality. (The one for my Samsung TV is pretty awful.) That erodes much of the old Netflix advantage, and it makes sub-par streaming apps -- like Hulu's and Amazon's -- look better by comparison, especially if the price is right, or zero.

Fool co-founder David Gardner likely disagrees with me on Netflix's prospects -- it's a long-time recommendation of his (and current "Best Buys Now" selection) in our Stock Advisor newsletter service. However, in the end, I believe the streaming video business will become a race toward the thinnest margins, as content costs go up and subscriber fees drop. What little room there will be for competitive advantage will go to the company that sets aside its business logic and sees things firmly from the perspective of its customers. Make things tougher for your customers, even just a little bit, and you make it very easy for them to shop the competition.

Netflix shareholders will be in for more pain if Reed Hastings and the rest of Netflix management don't learn what they did to create this week's disaster. Keep it simple, and keep in mind this little rule of thumb: If you are in a service industry and you find Wall Street applauding actions that your customers despise, you should ignore the guys with the rings and the ties.

Seth Jayson owned shares of Verizon, but no position in any other company mentioned here, at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings. He is the co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Wal-Mart Stores, and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Amazon.com, Microsoft, Wal-Mart Stores, Apple, and Netflix. They have also recommended creating a diagonal call position in Wal-Mart Stores, a bear put spread position in Netflix, and a bull call spread position in Microsoft and Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


Read/Post Comments (39) | Recommend This Article (72)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2011, at 10:43 AM, smarmocoppin wrote:

    Hastings has proven that he has no idea what his company is selling and why it is successful. He seems to think that Netflix is selling access to movies and TV, a product that has innumerable providers other than him. What Netflix actually has been selling, up to now anyway, was a seamless, easy way to access ALL movies and TV. Any film/show that a user wanted to see was easily looked up, added to a want-list of either DVDs or streaming feeds and should a DVD-only item become available on streaming, the Netflix user was instantly aware of it. In short, Netflix has been selling an almost flawless user experience. THAT has been the secret to their success and Hastings' dismantling of that flawless user experience will be his company's downfall.

    Incredible, really.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2011, at 11:18 AM, toddcliff1 wrote:

    It's fine if they want to increase prices, but they have to do more than separate their services. How about a more streamlined website and a greater selection of streaming movies. And "Qwikster"?? Is that the best name you could come up with for a mail-order DVD service. Sounds like a rip-off of Flickster, the movie rating and viewing site. C'mon guys get a new team together and try this again.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2011, at 11:19 AM, TMFHelical wrote:

    Seth,

    Well summarized. The customer cares only about his/her experience, not cost structures and different marketing strategies. What Netflix has done, as you note, is diminish that experience. Streaming with DVD's by mail was synergistic TO ME! Now, I'm happy to consider alternatives to either service. Heck, there idon't appear to be switching fees for streaming services, so I can rotate for 'fresh to me' content as I see fit.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2011, at 11:24 AM, clintspicks wrote:

    Excellent and hilarious. I dropped my Netflix sub before the price increase kicked in. When I received the survey asking for intel on why I left, there was no box to check for "because of the price hike" and no box to make additional comments. Netflix didn't want to know the truth because then it would have to report it to shareholders. But it's seeing the truth whether it likes it or not.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2011, at 11:39 AM, HDK2009 wrote:

    Been with Netflix since 2003. I cancelled my streaming membership last night. For the limited streaming I do (I find the assortment too small) I will use Amazon, since I get it for free as a Prime member. Also have DISH, so maybe look into what they can offer. The ony reason I used Netflix for streaming was originally that it was free, and after the price hike, the convienience made it worthwhile.

    Talk about a major screwup, and forgetting your roots - easy and convienient to do business with. Stopped using Blockbuster 7 years ago for the same reasons.

    Customers are fickle, and they loyalty can easily evaporate. Mine just did.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2011, at 11:43 AM, hegibson wrote:

    No doubt Hastings' forte is not public relations. He should turn that side of the business over to professionals. Fortunately I bought in at $29 and sold a bunch back in July figuring the party could not last forever and it didn't. This is the second strike since June. Three strikes and you are out.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2011, at 11:58 AM, hegibson wrote:

    Hastings' blog was insulting to say the least.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2011, at 12:03 PM, TMFBent wrote:

    Good info graphic here, for folks that need a visual guide to the recent crash.

    http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2011/09/20/infographic...

    Sj

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2011, at 12:09 PM, ncredbear wrote:

    What runs through my head, when I hear about the Netflix changes, I have not yet seen speculated. With the complete seperation of the two areas of the business and with the creation of two independent websites it looks like they are preparing for a sale/unloading of the DVD business. By completely divorcing the two portions of the business it is ready made for an easy divestiture of the DVD portion.

    Redbear

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2011, at 12:22 PM, LewG wrote:

    I wonder if this guy Hastings even has a clue how arrogant this communication was to his loyal customer base. First a slap in the face with a ridiculously high price jump, then a kick in the leg, with an insincere apology coupled with a blow to the customer experience.

    I still believe this company has long term potential, but my enthusiasm is fading fast. I think it is critical Hastings quickly concedes to the will of his former loyal customer base to make things right. It is also critical that Netflix assure the stock holders that they are moving forward on signing agreements that will expand available content; which is seriously lacking on the online side.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2011, at 12:22 PM, jdp245 wrote:

    Thanks Seth. This post is dead on and shows exactly how Netflix screwed this up. As a long time subscriber (and potential future investor), I hope they can get their act together, but this may have been a blunder that there is no coming back from.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2011, at 12:34 PM, TMFBent wrote:

    Well, I would like to quote the Big Lebowski, specifically the car scene where Walter reassures The Dude that nothing is... you know... here.

    Nothings so, you-knowed, that it can't be fixed, but to me, and perhaps to some stockholders, perhaps the wakeup call is that Hastings and Netflix may not be the geniuses that we've been told they are for all these years.

    To me, this is an example of business groupthink taking over, despite very clear warnings from the audience base that something isn't right. That can be fixed, but only if Hastings' self-proclaimed arrogance really and truly winds down a notch or two.

    There's plenty to like at Netflix, which is why these seemingly minor screwups blow up to such proportions. Netflix needs to remind itself what it is truly selling, not content, as commenters above have noted, but convenient access to that content. Members forgive lousy content, but they don't forget the perceived disrespect of having their years' worth of loyalty flushed along with the Quwixckster.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2011, at 12:36 PM, BKoob83 wrote:

    Anyone remember Friendster? I didn't know they were getting into the DVD-in-the-mail business. I'm glad they are making a comeback.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2011, at 12:43 PM, Threedollarbill wrote:

    Splitting them up into two entities might be a way to sell off the physical disc part--though I would think that's the bigger part of Netflix/Quickster, I don't understand why all the changes, particularly when it goes against the grain of so many subscriber's wishes/needs--that's foolish (and not in a good way). No subscribers, no stockholders, and no demand. That can't be good. I hope Hastings does learn a few things with these changes. What Seth says makes sense though, the ease of Amazon and Ebay keeps everyone happy. I don't want to learn how to negotiate new sites very often, and prefer simple and easy. Boy, I've never seen a business as NFLX shoot the customer's wishes down that easily--Hastings must have an ego beyond comparison.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2011, at 12:52 PM, DocMonsta wrote:

    The price increase didn't bother me that much as a consumer. As an investor, I figured it would slow down subs temporarily, but was overall okay with it. The apology and the split makes no sense to me from either perspective (consumer or investor). I'm just not getting it.

    As a consumer, I am looking at all of my alternatives now.

    From an investment standpoint - I sold all my shares at $240, and am not buying back in at these levels. I am no longer sure I see NFLX competitive advantage moving forward.

    Doc

    -no current position in NFLX

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2011, at 12:59 PM, DellSpa wrote:

    I agree 100% with Seth, Mr Hastings has disconnected from his customer.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2011, at 1:12 PM, ellweather wrote:

    I really had not minded the price hike as an investor or as a customer. I was getting quite the bargain in my opinion.

    I honestly thought the Hastings apology/split up email was a joke, it reminded me of a TMF April Fools Joke.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2011, at 1:13 PM, chadscards1274 wrote:

    There seems to be a lot of emotion in these posts so let me see if I can bring everyone back to reality.

    1. The fact that the two services are being split into two web sites...annoying if you plan on keeping both. If you don't plan on keeping both it's a non-issue. The deal is NFLX is trying to separate the two camps. Like it or not that's what's happening.

    2. If you subscribe to both Qwikster and NFLX you will have two queues and you have to manage them separately. Not as big of a deal as people are making. Most modern web browsers have tabs and you can open Qwikster in one and NFLX in the other and compare. It's not as though if you wanted to add a movie in your NFLX streaming queue that it would tell you that you already had it in your DVD queue. You had to be aware of that.

    3. Longer term DVD's are going away, there are many homes where DVD's are just not used as much. Let's face it if I have the choice of a NFLX stream or getting a DVD in the mail I'll take the stream anyday. I can start and stop it whenever I want and come back to it later. I don't have to check the mailbox, I don't have to send it back, etc.

    4. Other options right now? Come on, AMZN for all the Prime service is just doesn't compete with NFLX streaming. Could it - yes, does it - no. 8,000 titles versus over 20,000. AMZN inks some of the deals NFLX has and moves that count closer to NFLX and it's goodbye NFLX.

    5. Last one because I could go on. Someone said they just cancelled their streaming service because of this? That makes no sense. How do you argue that the streaming service that costs $7.99 that is not being changed by any of these announcements other then it's $2 cheaper has to go?

    Bottom line, content matters if NFLX has good content at current price points on the streaming side then in several years this will all be a bunch of wind about nothing.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2011, at 2:12 PM, drumberger wrote:

    Great article. Love the summary, Seth. I specifically enjoyed the highlight on the importance of making the end users experience the priority and that it focus on simplicity! I got a chuckle out of your warning regarding "Main Street vs. Wall Street" perspectives when you wrote, "If you are in a service industry and you find Wall Street applauding actions that your customers despise, you should ignore the guys with the rings and the ties." So, true. Thanks.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2011, at 2:13 PM, EricGunnerson wrote:

    I've been a netflix subscriber since the early days and a stockholder for a few years.

    I understood the price increase/restructuring, though I wasn't happy in the way it was handled or the effect it had on the stock price (my bad for not paying for more attention there). And I liked the possible new revenue from South America, though the Starz issue was a bit troubling.

    But the reaction of the company to the feedback it was getting made me unhappy; when instead of listening to customers and internalizing the issues they're bringing up you tell them why they're wrong, that's a bad sign, and I sold my stock.

    And now they come out with this really bizarre breakup; I don't see the point at divorcing the two services and killing their brand.

    And if you wanted to do this, you should have done that and the price restructuring at the same time.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2011, at 2:33 PM, clintspicks wrote:

    Interesting how the one comment defending Hastings is the longest and most time-consuming, as if it were written by Hastings, himself.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2011, at 2:56 PM, decebalvs wrote:

    All this reminds me of the problem of playing chess with oneself. It's very difficult to remain objective, one tends to side with whatever interesting strategy is going on at the time for one color.

    This is the only explanation I have for this nonsensical move. They didn't know how to separate the two concerns and resources internally only, and continue to project the unified experience towards outside.

    They should have tried harder. I think the bet on streaming only is overrated and too soon.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2011, at 3:05 PM, hellerbrewing wrote:

    In the streaming world, people will follow the content, plain and simple. This quarter was the first phase of Netflix killing off the DVD business, though I think it will hang around for a while given they are adding video games to the mix. To make the streaming business successful, Netflix is going to have to score some major content deals in the not-too-distant future. Some of them will need to be exclusive and immediate, TV shows after they air and movies as soon as they are released on DVD. Once this happens you will see the customers coming back in droves. I would bet that Reed has some of these in the works. Don't be surprised if you start hearing about them in the 4th quarter after the 3Q band-aid has been completely ripped off.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2011, at 3:11 PM, SFLogic wrote:

    Something's amiss with all this. How could a company so good at customer focus go so wrong so quickly? I can only think of one way: they hired a consultant. McKinsey, Bain or BCG came in and made all these "strategic" suggestions and b/c they paid them a huge sum and the consultants are "smart", Netflix listened. And, as so often happens at big companies, common sense left the room...

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2011, at 3:41 PM, 123spot wrote:

    I'm more than alittle confused by the NFLX community's fickle attitude. This plethora of negative outpouring just convinces me of the reach and promise of a company about which so many care enough to write. I love me some NFLX, as a subscriber and as an investor. It is the best value proposition out there (BTW, I am amazed at those of you spending over $100 for TV based entertainment with these co-running cable plans, etc.). This company is going to surprise and bounce hard, probably sell off part, acquire even more compelling content, and have many of you coming back for more as investors and subscribers. I think what we are seeing is first mover action live, and I like it. Disclaimer, I am not Reed Hastings and I think it is obvious from the absence of many positive comments that NFLX is not gaming comment pages. Spot

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2011, at 3:42 PM, jwhitt69 wrote:

    So is this a time to buy NFLX? I make out the enterprise value of the company at $143.52 a share and it is selling for 130.97 as I write this.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2011, at 3:57 PM, AstronomyGuy wrote:

    It appears Amazon is taking the lead from NetFlix.

    NetFlix down 52% since I bought it on a Core recommendation, Amazon down over 3% today.

    Really, I'm paying for this advice?

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2011, at 4:05 PM, DBrown7 wrote:

    I think it's way too early to draw any conclusions about the wisdom of Netflix' latest moves. Hastings might well be rebranding the DVD business to prepare it to be sold at a later date. He almost certainly feels the future is streaming and wants to more closely associate the Netflix brand with that service.

    I think it will be at least a couple of years before we know if the recent decisions lead to success or failure. I wouldn't sell Hastings short, though. Remember when it was conventional wisdom that Blockbuster would eat Netflix lunch when they started their DVD mail business? How'd that work out? I'll be quite interested to see where Netflix is two or three years from now. Will Hastings be considered a bum or a hero. Only time will tell.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2011, at 6:03 PM, beachdudeca wrote:

    @MHenage :

    There are problems that Netflix faces the first being that a lot of the new media contracts prohibit streaming of content for the 1st 8 years after a movie has been released.

    There are some advantages that Netflix has that can easily be lost and in some cases they are walking away from.

    Netflix is a standard widget on most devices.

    Netflix has one of the easier to manage streaming catalogs.

    Netflix has access to a great server network.

    Netflix allows users to either stream or borrow physical disks of their favorite movies or shows via an integrated tool.

    Netflix has a large selection of content via either their streams or physical inventory.

    Netflix is a more affordable and convenient option for most users that are not cable or disk subscribers.

    But ever strength is either being tossed away or can be duplicated.

    The only thing that can save Netflix for the short term is if and only if they hold patents which will prevent competitors from implementing more user friendly interfaces.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2011, at 6:08 PM, mctiller wrote:

    For me Hastings has thrown out their monopoly in DVDs. Yes DVDs are not the FUTURE, but they're not quite obsolete.

    Netflix does not have a monopoly on streaming, see HULU+ and Amazon Prime.

    But Netflix really has/had a legal monopoly on discs and is now that is being treated stupidly.

    As a movie lover I am frustrated.

    As an investor I follow the idea that you buy what you know and understand.

    I no longer know or understand Netflix.

    So I sold the stock today.

    (For a 150% profit.)

  • Report this Comment On September 21, 2011, at 1:30 AM, sliderw wrote:

    If Wall Street is "applauding" (your word) Netflix's recent moves, why has the stock price dropped 60% from peak?

  • Report this Comment On September 21, 2011, at 11:47 AM, TMFBent wrote:

    wall street analysts and wall street trading algorithms are two different things. And, of course, some analysts do think this is a bad move.

  • Report this Comment On September 21, 2011, at 2:09 PM, SoftwareHollis wrote:

    Netflix keeps making essentially the same collosal blunder. Until they fix "the problem" that causes them to repeat the same mistake, there will be more Netflix stories in the press.

    Terror at the Top: a Culture of Fear at Netflix.

    Read about it on Sys-Con Media: http://hollistibbetts.sys-con.com/node/1989221

    Fear-based cultures lead to terrible decision-making as those bold or naive enough to speak their mind are quickly shunned or ousted.

  • Report this Comment On September 21, 2011, at 4:00 PM, ejclason2 wrote:

    "...Bottom line, content matters if NFLX has good content at current price points on the streaming side then in several years this will all be a bunch of wind about nothing."

    I think this is exactly right. Unfortunately when it comes to streaming content, NFLX is at the mercy of content providers. Until NFLX proves that it can negoatiate good content deals, I consider this a huge risk.

  • Report this Comment On September 21, 2011, at 5:45 PM, gt1135 wrote:

    I cancelled my subscription this month. For $18 I can pay for HBO and their on-demand and HBO-GO service provides much newer releases instantly than Netflix does. I don't have much need for older movies because I've watched the ones that interest me on Netflix already and I can get those through Amazon Prime.

    The only reason I had DVD by mail was for the newer releases and I get those on HBO on demand now. I think Netflix has an uphill battle to fight, but I'm not necessarily ruling them out. They are just not for me at this moment.

  • Report this Comment On September 21, 2011, at 11:37 PM, kosmos2112 wrote:

    I just watched Hempsters on Netflix an alright documentary but really what are these guys on, crashing Netflix trying to get people to watch films like Hempsters instead of the expensive stuff they keep ordering up. Maybe the new name is a boardroom joke name for something closer to home, Speedster. So at least we can imagine what corporate America is smoking when they come up with names like this. God help us.

    Can you imagine the U.S. Post Office putting meth ads on all the postal boxes that used to say Netflix? At least it explains the addition of the games, some folks aren't in the mind space to watch a whole film.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2011, at 12:22 AM, 48ozhalfgallons wrote:

    To MHenage:

    "3. Longer term DVD's are going away.........if I have the choice of a NFLX stream or getting a DVD in the mail I'll take the stream anyday"

    You obviously are viewing content on a CRT in monophonic sound or your eyesight and hearing are seriously handicapped.

  • Report this Comment On September 27, 2011, at 12:59 PM, ETFsRule wrote:

    I've been a long-time customer and defender of Netflix... but I can't disagree with your points. It's about simplicity.

    Will I really need to go to 2 different sites now to add movies to my DVD and online queues? What a disaster. They really just don't get it.

  • Report this Comment On October 10, 2011, at 2:42 PM, dameyoppa wrote:

    This is why I use Mixvid.net free movies free games free music. you cant beat that!

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